Do you think you might be possessed by a demon? Unsure of what to do, where to go, or who to see? Well, the Catholic Church has the hotline for you! In one hell of an ambitious pilot program, an “exorcism hotline” has been launched in Milan.. and it’s so popular they’ve had to install a switchboard during the week.
The diocese’s exorcism head honcho since 1995, Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, told The Independent that requests for deliverance have doubled over the last two years, and thusly, their efforts to combat the surge of demonic activity have had to grow and adapt as well. Enter: Dial An Exorcist.
“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.”
What began as one priest fielding phone calls from the afflicted, quickly turned to six, and eventually became 12 priests working Monday through Friday, giving so many blessings that they’ve had to bring in a switchboard for peak hours. Mascheroni mentions that he even knew of one priest who was doing as many as 120 exorcisms a day, but cautions that stretching yourself that thing can be too taxing on a priest. “There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it’s too much.”
So, what’s causing this influx of individuals begging to be delivered? Mascheroni can see only one clear answer: teenagers.
“Usually the parents call concerned about a child who won’t go to school or who’s taking drugs or rebelling. In reality it’s not a demon, but when they’re 18 years old young people don’t want to be told what to do.. The real diabolical phenomena, at least in my experience, are very rare.”
The service is 100% free, an alternative that the church hopes will be used by the tormented in replace of “magicians and charlatans” out to make a buck off the desperate.
“Magicians demand money; we … give our time, give benediction … all for free. It couldn’t be any other way.”